Georgian composer Giya Kancheli’s latest ECM New Series album, issued shortly after his 80th birthday, features first recordings of his two major works: Chiaroscuro for violin and chamber orchestra and Twilight for two violins and chamber orchestra, performed by Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra and violinists Gidon Kremer and Patricia Kopatchinskaja.
Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica have had a long and close cooperation with Giya Kancheli. Twilight, Kancheli’s first piece composed for two solo violins and string orchestra was written on Gidon Kremer’s initiative for the annual Mozart Week in Salzburg.
On Twilight, the coming together of Gidon Kremer and Patricia Kopatchinskaja, two of the most powerfully expressive violinists of our era, makes for fascinating listening. “In my professional life various superb performers have appeared at different periods,” Giya Kancheli writes in the liner notes. “I am very happy that for the ECM production of Twilight Gidon Kremer joined forces with Patricia Kopatchinskaja.” The piece is a touching meditation on mortality, written at a time when Giya Kancheli was recovering from illness, looking at the leaves and branches of poplar trees outside his window – a metaphor for change and transformation.
Composition Chiaroscuro borrows its name from the painting technique of the renaissance and baroque whose concern with dramatic contrasts of light and shade corresponds quite directly to the characteristically stark dynamics of the composer’s writing, vigorously conveyed by Kremerata Baltica. The piece was originally written for Julian Rachlin, to be performed by him on both violin and viola. After its premiere both Yuri Bashmet and Gidon Kremer asked Kancheli for independent versions, and these were subsequently developed and performed. As Kancheli remarks, “Profound personalities always discover in the music something that cannot be expressed in notes and signs… They effectively become co-authors of the works they perform.”
Kremerata Baltica and Gidon Kremer return to Asia in October, 2015 visiting South Korea, Macau, China, Taiwan, and Japan.
The tour starts with chamber and orchestra performances of Kremerata Baltica members and soloists in Seoul and Daegu, South Korea with works of A. Schnittke, F. Schubert, J. Harbison, W. A. Mozart, J. Haydn. Soloists: Gidon Kremer, Dzeraldas Bidva, Stefan Pi Jackiw (violin); Richard Yongjae O’Neill, Santa Vizine (viola); Michael Nicholas, Giedre Dirvanauskaite (violoncello); Dong-Hyek Lim, Steven Lin (piano); Andrei Pushkarev (vibraphone); Iurii Gavryliuk (contrabass).
The newest project of Kremerata Baltica “Masks and Faces” – initiated by Gidon Kremer, developed in co-operation with Russian painter and philosopher Maxim Kantor – will bring audiences together in Macau and Wuhan. In Macau, Shanghai and Kaohsiung – performances of New Seasons program with P. Glass Violin Concerto No.2 from the newest Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica release “New Seasons” (Deutsche Grammophon, 2015).
New Seasons program in Japan also includes a new piece by Shigeru Umebayashi “Japanese Four Seasons” which was exclusively created for Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica. It will be premiered in Japan with the performance in Tokyo.
On Monday, August 24, Kremerata Baltica will be one of the artists featured in the 24-hour Latvian music marathon on Q2 Music radio. This event – New Music: Latvia (Jaunā Mūzika: Latvija) – is dedicated particularly to Latvian music and will be broadcasted all over the world on the websites: www.wqxr.org/q2 and www.q2music.org.
The program has been developed and selected by its artistic director, Q2 producer and a big Latvian music friend – Alex Ambrose. During the years Q2 radio station has received many internationally released CDs of modern and contemporary Latvian music, as well as unique peaces released or recorded by Latvian Music Information Centre, Radio LR3 “Klasika”, various Latvian choirs, vocalists, instrumentalists and ensembles.
The marathon on August 24 will be the first time when Latvian contemporary music will be broadcasted non-stop for 24 hours. Latvia is the third country, after Poland and Finland, that has received such an opportunity. This Latvian music program consists of the most interesting and spectacular Latvian music pieces of the 21st century. Among them – works by such composers as Pēteris Vasks, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Indra Riše, Arturs Maskats, Jēkabs Jančevskis, Raimonds Tiguls and Santa Ratniece.
More information about the event here.
This August Kremerata Baltica will perform at the 51st Sion Music Festival in Switzerland.
In two concerts on August 18 and 23 Kremerata Baltica will perform several pieces by such composers as Weinberg, Silvestrov, Kissine, Zlabys, Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Bach.
After that Kremerata Baltica will give a concert in Monthey on August 27 where the expressive SNOWSHOW SYMPHONY will be presented.
For more information about the concerts click here.
Since 1963 this international music festival finds its home in a beautiful city of Sion. Every summer it proposes about 20 musical manifestations – concerts, open-air spectacles, musical meetings, competitions, etc. The Music Academy of Sion receives about 400 to 500 students from all over the world to follow master classes given by internationally acclaimed teachers. They are also given a chance to perform some forty “Musical Hours” in the main locations. Over the years the festival has evolved from regional to international scale and this year will take place for the 51st time.
Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra is celebrating the mid-summer with a virtuosic mandolinist Avi Avital in July tour in Germany. Festivals to be visited:
Gezeiten Festival, July 7
Audi Sommerkonzerte, July 9
Festival Mitte Europa, July 10
Avi Avital is the first mandolin player to receive a GRAMMY nomination in the category “Best Instrumental Soloist” (2010) for his recording of Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto (Metropolis Ensemble/Andrew Cyr). He has won numerous competitions and awards including Germany’s ECHO Prize for his 2008 recording with the David Orlowsky Trio and the AVIV Competition (2007), the preeminent national competition for Israeli soloists.
Born in Be’er Sheva, southern Israel in 1978, he began learning the mandolin at the age of eight and soon joined the flourishing mandolin youth orchestra founded and directed by his charismatic teacher, Russian-born violinist Simcha Nathanson. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padova, Italy where he studied the original mandolin repertoire with Ugo Orlandi.
Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra recorded Phillip Glass’ “The American Seasons” with “Deutsche Grammophon.” The recording as well includes pieces by A. Pärt, G. Kancheli, S. Umebayashi.